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USCIS Temporarily Suspends In-Person Services Due To Its COVID-19 Response (US)

USCIS has suspended in-person services from March 18, 2020, until at least April 1, 2020, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During this period, the agency will not conduct in-person adjustment of status or naturalization interviews, naturalization ceremonies, or Application Support Center biometrics appointments. USCIS field offices will send cancellation notices to applicants with … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak U.S. Travel Ban Update: UK and Republic of Ireland Added

Just three days after issuing a Proclamation expanding the scope of the temporary travel (entry) bans, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19), which restricted entry and travel to the United States of foreign nationals (immigrants or nonimmigrants) who were physically present within the European Schengen Area, President Trump’s Proclamation now includes … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Outbreak US Travel Ban Expanded To Include Europe Schengen Area

President Trump has issued another Presidential Proclamation expanding the scope of two previously issued travel bans suspending entry of immigrants and nonimmigrants into the United States, subject to certain exceptions detailed below, due to the global outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also referred to the as the coronavirus disease 2019 or“COVID-19”). This Proclamation, entitled, Suspension … Continue Reading

Employer Update: DHS Issues New Form I-9 with Mandatory Use by May 1, 2020 (US)

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently issued a new version of its Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is used to verify the employment authorization and identity for all employees in the United States. Although employers may now begin to use the new version, which has a 10/21/2019 version date on the bottom, … Continue Reading

DHS New Fee Schedule and Other Changes Proposal (US)

The Proposed Rule On November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of a proposed rule that will considerably alter the fees associated with US filings and immigration benefits. The proposal also includes significant changes to some of the immigration forms published by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS … Continue Reading

H-1B Cap Registration: USCIS Says It’s On For 2020 (US)

On December 6, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed pilot testing and is implementing the long-anticipated electronic registration tool for the next H-1B lottery of fiscal year (FY) 2021 H-1B visas. In its announcement, USCIS indicated that the initial H-1B cap registration period will run from March 1, 2020 … Continue Reading

UK Business Immigration Update – Changes to the Immigration Rules Announced

On 9 September 2019, the UK government announced changes to the Immigration Rules, which go on for nearly 100 pages. Read a summary of the key changes of most direct relevance to employers, sponsors and recruiters, and view the full Statement of Changes online. In addition to these changes, there has been another important and very … Continue Reading

USCIS has drawn the H-1B lucky numbers, but winners may have to hold off on celebrating (US)

On April 11th, USCIS announced that its computer-generated random selection process was completed. USCIS drew the numbers of the lucky H-1B petitions that made the cut under the congressionally-mandated regular cap of 65,000 visa numbers and the U.S. advanced degree exemption of 20,000 visa numbers for fiscal year (FY) 2020.… Continue Reading

H-1B Premium Processing Update: It’s On! Again! Mostly (US)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced the reinstatement of premium processing service for H-1B nonimmigrant petitions, with an exception.  Premium processing permits an employer to pay an extra fee (currently $1410) to receive expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions. If requested, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing or it will refund the premium … Continue Reading

USCIS Issues H-1B Cap Registration Proposal

In a proposed rule published in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is resurrecting and modifying a previous proposal from 2011 to implement an electronic pre-registration system for H-1B cap petitions. H-1B visas are for high-skilled “specialty workers” in positions that require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific related … Continue Reading

Social Security Administration to Resume Social Security Mismatch Letter Notification Program in 2019 (US)

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) recently announced that in 2019, it will restart its mismatch letter notification program.  Through “mismatch” letters, formally titled “Employer Correction Requests,” the SSA notifies employers that the social security number (“SSN”) and name reported for one or more employees does not match SSA records.  These notification letters advise employers that … Continue Reading

State of the Union Address Provides Hints of Trump Administration Priorities for U.S. Employers

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made the case for his first year in office as one of extraordinary legislative and regulatory accomplishments as part of his Administration’s efforts to build a “Safe, Strong, and Proud America.” In fact, 2017 was not a year of major legislative accomplishments, with the exception … Continue Reading

As the Feds and California Play Tug-Of-War Over Immigration Enforcement, Are Employers Caught in the Middle?

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a package of bills into law, affectionately known as “Sanctuary State” legislation. Collectively, these new laws, which take effect on January 1, 2018, will prevent State and local enforcement agencies from acting as deputies for federal immigration enforcement authorities, prevent local authorities from detaining immigrants beyond scheduled release dates … Continue Reading

The Hits Keep Coming: Third Travel Ban Partially Blocked by Two Court Rulings

For the third time in 2017, US District Courts have thwarted the Trump administration’s attempt to implement a travel ban. On October 17, 2017, the US District Court for the District of Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) blocking most of the restrictions President Trump laid out in his newest September 24, 2017 travel … Continue Reading

Third Time is the Charm?: New Presidential Proclamation Replaces Expiring Portions of Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation (Proclamation Travel Ban) to replace expiring portions of the President’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order travel ban (EO Travel Ban) and expand affect countries to eight (8), up from the six countries covered by the most recent EO Travel Ban. According to the White House, the … Continue Reading

US Immigration Update: Executive Order Travel Ban, DACA and What Employers Need to Know

Executive Order Travel Ban Update In recent days, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has once again weighed in and issued a preliminary ruling regarding the Executive Order Travel Ban (EO) challenge in Trump v. Hawaii. For background, please see our prior blog posts detailing the travel ban EO’s history and SCOTUS’ decision of June 26th. … Continue Reading

Executive Order Travel Ban – SCOTUS Takes Further Action (While on Summer Recess, No Less)

The Executive Order Travel Ban saga continues into the dog days of Summer. On June 19, 2017, the US Supreme Court issued an order (See Trump v. Hawaii) partially upholding a lower court’s modification of the preliminary injunction exempting from the travel ban impacted grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of … Continue Reading

USCIS Releases Update Of Form I-9: What Employers Need To Know

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the release of a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This is the second version of the “smart” I-9 initially released in November 2016. (For details regarding the “smart” functions please see our previous blog post). Employers can use the revised … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Decision on Executive Order Travel Ban: What Does It Mean?

On June 26, 2017, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari and consolidated two cases, Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii, recently litigated in the US Court of Appeals enjoining the President’s second Executive Order entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States (EO2). While this grant of certiorari is a … Continue Reading

Summertime Blues for the President’s Travel Ban Executive Order?

As we enter the dog days of Summer, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by the US District Court for the District of Maryland enjoining the implementation of  President Trump’s second Executive Order, travel ban restricting nationals of six Muslim-majority countries from being issued visas and entering the United … Continue Reading

Travel Ban Executive Order Update: The Constitutional Tug-of-War Continues

Last week we saw another round in the battle between the Executive and Judiciary branches over the President’s travel ban impacting nationals Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Federal District Courts in Hawaii (State of Hawaii v. Trump) and Maryland (International Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”) v. Trump) stayed the implementation of the revised Travel/Refugee … Continue Reading
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